The Balance Sheet of Life

We waited impatiently outside, as the doctor went inside with my father. His condition was rather serious. Mother leaned against the wall just opposite to mine and waited with us outside. Her eyes were not wet yet, but lined with an evident red. It escapes me how the usually sensitive women gain the strength to keep themselves sane in such hard times. Who could possibly say that my father could have an unhealthy heart? Especially in that fit body. He exercised everyday and ate just right. It was like someone with a terrible sense of humour was playing a practical joke on us.


My eyes were moist and dry from time to time. I could hardly hold myself together at the very thought of what life would be like if something were to happen to my father. The doctors had made it clear that his severe myocardial heart disease would lead to heart failure if his heart was not transplanted. What were the odds of finding a donor at the hour of need? It is times like these when you want to pray to any universal force in power, just in case there is a chance it exists, irrespective of your beliefs.


To my surprise for the first time in life, a prayer was answered.
They found a donor.

My mother was finally relieved and needless to say, so was I. I wanted to thank the universe and blow kisses at it but then a sudden realization dawned upon me. For my father to have a heart, someone had probably just died. I went up to the ward boy and asked him to make enquiries. My heart sank as I learned that, a seventeen year old had just died in a car accident and his parents had agreed to donate his organs. How could I possibly be happy any more?


It is unsettling how someone’s biggest loss can be someone’s biggest gain.I cried that night as I realized how little we could control. It was unfair that someone had to lose something for someone else’s gain. Was there a joy that didn’t involve someone’s sorrow?


Time passed by and we, like all mere mortals, were distracted by routine. A close friendship was established between us and the donor family. They deserved to know how much their decision to donate had changed our life. We laughed and cried together, ever since.


That’s how I learned that life wasn’t just a balance sheet of constant loss and gain. It is a collection of several grey stories. Stories of how two strangers connect in the most unexpected ways, learn to co-depend and end up easing each other’s pain.

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